Micheal R. Williams
Micheal R. Williams, born February 6, 1955 in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a Tennessee politician who formerly served in the Tennessee State Senate and was elected county mayor of Union County in August 2010.
Williams was first elected to the 97th General Assembly as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He served as a state senator since being elected to the 100th General Assembly as a member of the Republican Party.
Williams was Speaker pro Tempore of the Tennessee Senate during the 104th General Assembly (2005–2006). During the 100th General Assembly, he was the Senate Republican Whip, and he was the Senate Republican Assistant floor leader during the 101st General Assembly. He serves on the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, the Senate Commerce, Labor, and Agriculture Committee, and the Senate Rules Committee.
On March 14, 2007, he announced that he was leaving the Senate Republican Caucus and becoming an Independent. This left the Senate evenly divided, with 16 Democrats, 16 Republicans, and one Independent. In explaining his move, Williams said: "Some in the [Republican] party are leading us down a path of bitterness and divisiveness and, in doing so, they have left me. I have not left them." Senate leaders from both parties said Williams' move would make little difference because, as Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle stated, "Mike Williams has never been a guaranteed vote for anyone." Williams said he had not decided whether to seek re-election in 2008. The district he represents is generally regarded as strongly Republican, but Williams said he believes voters appreciate independence. "The largest voting bloc in the state of Tennessee is Independents," he said. "They're just not organized."
In the 2007-2008 edition of the Tennessee Blue Book, Williams listed his party affiliation as "Independent NASCAR Fan." In 2008 he ran for re-election to the State Senate as an independent candidate, narrowly losing to Church Hill attorney Mike Faulk, a Republican, by a vote of 29,417 to 29,171.
Williams won election to the office of county mayor in Union County on August 5, 2010, receiving 52.2% of the vote and defeating incumbent Larry Lay.
- Micheal Williams profile on the Tennessee General Assembly website, accessed October 7, 2008
- ET state senator quits GOP, Knoxville News Sentinel, March 15, 2007; Already-independent senator leaves GOP, Nashville City Paper, March 14, 2007; Defection removes GOP majority in Senate, Tennessean, March 15, 2007[broken citation]
- Tennessee Blue Book, 2007-2008, page 29
- Tom Humphrey, Old-fashioned or modern for 4th District seat? Williams, Faulk point out differences while battling for spot, Knoxville News Sentinel, October 7, 2008
- GOP wins state Senate, picks up House seats, too, Knoxville News Sentinel, November 5, 2008
- Tom Humphrey, Former State Sen. Mike Williams Elected Union County Mayor, Knoxville News Sentinel website, accessed August 7, 2010